Title: American Assassin
Author: Vince Flynn
About the book: It’s the first novel in a series which follows a young man named Mitch Rapp.
First impressions: I saw so many ads for the film. Then when I learned that it was based on a novel by Vince Flynn, I picked up the book. I had high hopes. Even from the get-go, the story didn’t disappoint. I especially enjoyed the humour.
Summary: Rapp, a college athlete, trains for months to become an assassin. Afterwards, he leaves a trial of bodies behind him. His goal is to stop terrorist attacks in the Middle East, and Mitch takes extreme measures to do so.
Characters: Rapp is an interesting and intelligent character. I didn’t expect Flynn to go into too much depth about human motivations and the psychology behind why people are who they are because of their past experiences. But to my surprise, he did.
As much as I’m fond of a larger cast of characters, I found myself needing time to learn everyone’s names, so I could distinguish who was who. It didn’t help that there were a couple of obvious mistakes where the name written referenced the wrong character. What’s more, a few people had fake names, which compounded the problem further.
Also, I generally like some description of physical appearance because I want to picture the characters, even the secondary ones, better. But at least the main ones are developed.
“If you’re not busy living, you’re dying.”
Conflict: Rapp loses his girlfriend in a terrorist attack, but then he becomes a killing machine.
Writing: Overall, Flynn tells a well-paced story. Even though the edition I read was 464 pages long, I personally felt the story progressed at a nice pace.
Some of the language, specifically certain insults seemed dated to me. Or at least different from what I’m familiar with.
The story is told in third person point of view and alternates between multiple characters, which provides more insight into people’s motives.
Final thoughts: The ending left me wanting more, so it’s a good thing Rapp’s story continues. Regardless I would’ve liked closure. I’m kind of a broken record at this point. But I do care for the characters enough to want to know more about what happens to them.
The one thing I didn’t like was the romantic subplot. It happened so fast, and I felt as though it had little bearing on the rest of the story until the end.
I’d recommend American Assassin to anyone looking for a fun thriller. I’m a huge fan of thrillers, so I had a blast reading Flynn’s novel. I’m not sure if I’ll ever watch the film, but a part of me wants to because I’m curious to see how certain events in the book are depicted on screen.
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